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Channel 7 Sunrise

1 May 2020

Interviewer: 
David Koch

Subject: Ensuring COVID safe workplaces

E&OE

DAVID KOCH: Employment Minister, Michaelia Cash, joins me now. Minister, look what do small to medium sized businesses need to do now to prepare for this once the guidelines come through?

MINISTER CASH: Look, it’s a fantastic question and I’ve been working with a number of industry bodies that represent small and family businesses across Australia to ensure that when we do restart Australia - and as you’ve rightly pointed out, that is now happening slowly but we are heading in the right direction you have what we are referring to as a COVID safe workplace. Because as we know, Kochie, the virus will still be with us but if we can control the spread of the virus then we can restart the economy.  So, businesses need to examine what industry am I in; what are the restrictions that are still going to be in place in my particular workplace; and, do I have that action plan, that set of best-practice principles ready to go so when I’m given the green light I can open my doors and Australians can come back to me with confidence knowing I have a COVID safe workplace.

DAVID KOCH: Alright. Okay. So social distancing will continue. So before we went into stage three.

MINISTER CASH: That’s correct. Yes.

DAVID KOCH: You had to have 4 square metres in a cafe or restaurant per customer, so we’ll go back to that - having crosses on the floor. What about bigger businesses, offices? What do they need to do? What would that workplace look like?

MINISTER CASH: You need to examine, each workplace needs to look at its individual circumstances in terms of how those new restrictions will apply in what will be the new normal environment that we live in.If you look at the recent announcement by Wes Lambert of Restaurant and Catering – they’re putting in place a set of best practice principles, based on the steps they need to take as the restaurant industry. The fitness industry, they are looking at the ways they can reopen in a safe environment. And for an office environment - for accounting firms, for law firms - again it will be different. But you need to ensure that when you’re given the green light, when we are restarting Australia, you are ready to go so we can all have confidence in our workplaces regardless of where we work.

DAVID KOCH: Right. Okay. Minister, thanks for joining us.

MINISTER CASH: Great to be with you.

[ENDS]